FLOODS Minister Kevin Boxer Moran has defended the Government response to the flooding disaster which hit Burnfoot last August.
Residents had hoped to be back in their homes last month, but new flooding risks in December has put that back further, said the Minister.
Some county councillors had favoured demolishing the houses – built on a flood plain in 2005 during the so-called Celtic Tiger boom – and building a new development away from the river which has flooded the area on six occasions since the houses were first built.
Minister Moran told Donegal Daily consultants had been hired to access both August and December incidents.
He said: “The core strategy for addressing areas at potentially significant risk from flooding is the Office of Public Works (OPW) Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme. The Programme, which is being undertaken by engineering consultants on behalf of the OPW working in partnership with the local authorities, involves the production of predictive flood mapping for each location, the development of preliminary flood risk management options and the production of Flood Risk Management Plans.
“The flood maps and measures proposed for Burnfoot, which is an Area of Further Assessment (AFA) in the CFRAM Study, were developed prior to the flooding of August 2017 making use of the information available at the time.
“As a result of the severe flooding in August 2017, the OPW took the decision to commission consultants to undertake a review of the Burnfoot AFA. The review will examine details of the August 2017 flood event and recent events in December 2017, in order to better understand the specifics of those flood events and to review the hydraulic modelling and flood mapping for this area. This is necessary to be able to determine a feasible solution to manage the flood risk for this area.
“Over the coming weeks, the consultants will be reviewing the hydrology, updating the hydraulic model, revising the flood maps and re-assessing possible engineering options.
“Subject to the outcomes of this review, expected by early Summer, the OPW will re-assess the possible options to manage the risk and the economic viability of these options.
“The response to a flood event and in this scenario the refurbishment of homes and housing for local authority tenants is a matter for Donegal County Council.”